Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    Monie Love is a hip-hop pioneer and a great example of the diversity in the rap game at the time, a female London rapper. I think it would be nearly impossible for that to happen today.

    Monie Love made her American debut in 1989 in the hip-hop classic “Ladies First” with Queen Latifah shouting out Love as her “European partner”. Then, she was in the hit De La Soul song “Buddy” and who can forget her cameo in Whitney Houston’s “My Name Is Not Susan” – one of the first times Whitney incorporated hip-hop in her music.

    Monie’s first album, Down To Earth, debuted in October of 1990; the album went gold and garnered her two Grammy nominations. Her second effort, 1993's In A Word Or 2, had a song produced by Prince, but didn’t match the success of the first. Nonetheless, Monie Love continued, she made appearances on MTV game shows like Lip Service and became a popular radio host from New York City to Philadelphia .

    In 2006, Monie Love had a heated a debate with Young Jeezy about the state of hip-hop. Some said she was fired from the station due to the argument, which would be shocking if Monie Love, one of the pioneers of hip-hop, was fired for expressing her opinion on this obviously deracinated art form. Lawd knows if she were a man (I’ve heard male hip-hop hosts/DJs make more scathing comments on hip-hop) there is no way she would’ve been fired. Still, Monie Love said she was not fired, her contract was up and she decided to move on.

    Whatever the case, it was a great debate about hip-hop and in an interview shortly after leaving the Philly radio station, Monie eloquently said, "You can be in the music industry and make music and put out records and sell millions of records and still not really respect the art."

    According to her MySpace page, Monie now has a radio show on XM Satellite Radio.

    Take a stroll down memory lane to Monie Love’s greatest hits and a prolific time in hip-hop.

    1990’s “Monie in the Middle”, which went to #1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart.


    ***

    "It' s A Shame (My Sister)" was in 1991 and Monie’s biggest hit. The song, which had a sample by the Spinners, charted at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100, this was a huge accomplishment for a female rapper considering “Ladies First” never charted on the Billboard Hot 100. “It s A Shame (My Sister)” also hit #8 on the Hip-Hop/R&B chart.

    ***

    Although this wasn't a Monie Love song it shows nearly all of the members of the Native Tongue Posse, which included Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, Monie, and many others. De La Soul was also part of the group and this was their big hit, "Buddy", with Monie laying down a few bars.

    If the styles of the eighties have to make a comeback, wouldn't it be great if some of the styles in this video made a comeback?

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 4 comments

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